Kim's journey

Kim was diagnosed last Thursday, September 16, 2010 with ovarian cancer. As Kim's Family, Friends, Neighbors and Fans - we have started this blog to help share information, updates, support, and love with each other during her next few months of surgery, treatment and healing. We will try to update it whenever we receive information. Please feel free to leave a comment expressing your support, love, and encouragement anytime - as that is how we will all grow and strengthen each other - especially Kim and her family. We love you Kim, and our faith, prayers, and total support and dedication are with you as you embark on this "Journey"!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Miracles

I just got a call from Dr. Prystas herself his morning with the good news that my CA-125 levels have gone from 641 to 282 after my third chemo treatment. The blood levels of the tumor marker are now less than one-tenth what they were when I began treatment. I am completely overwhelmed with love and gratitude for my loving Heavenly Father and Savior who are continually mindful of me and my family, and are blessing us and granting the deepest desires of our hearts. As I look forward to celebrating the birth of our Savior this week, I am so thankful to our Father in Heaven for the gift of His Son. My heart is full of gratitude to my Savior for His life, His obedience to the Father, and His perfect example for me. I am so grateful for His atonement. These past 3 months I have come to know on a little deeper level just a portion of what He suffered for me in the garden of Gesthemane and on the cross. How thankful I am that I have not had to do this alone--He has been with me always! How I wish that I could speak with the tongue of angels, and fully express my love and testimony for Him. I am also so very grateful for the faith and prayers of my family and friends. I know that He hears and answers prayers--we have been the witnesses of His miracles. Merry Christmas and all my love to you at this beautiful season!--Kim

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mid-December Update

I wish everyone could stop by my home and see the beautiful quilt up close--I'm grateful to Patti for posting the last message, but the picture just doesn't do it justice! Thank you, thank you to all you wonderful friends who took time out of your very busy schedules and made the quilt squares--every one of them is precious to me. I am also so thankful to Kelli, Patti, Michelle, Janae & Michelle for putting it all together. I was completely overwhelmed (actually I sobbed all day--it gave me a headache!) when it was presented to me. Love & hugs to each of you wonderful ladies!
Things are going well this week. I'm getting geared up to go in for my 4th chemo treatment on Friday. I've had quite a few people ask me what the chemo is like and how it affects me, so I'll try to explain how it's been for me the last 3 treatments. The side effects each time have been slightly different, with this last one being not quite as severe as the first two. For the first day and a half I just feel really "weird" in my brain & slightly nauseaus--no other way I can explain it--it's just weird! The nausea meds they give me in the IV seem to last for about 36 hours and then it really hits. At that point, I start taking some oral meds for it, but the nausea goes on and off for about 7-8 days. On the 2nd day, Shalin Bailey comes over and gives me a shot called "Neulasta". It stimulates my bone marrow to produce white & red blood cells to help protect me against infections. The shot doesn't hurt at all (Shalin's soooo good!), but for the next 2-3 days my bones ache. I quite frequently get migraines somewhere along the way with all this, but lucked out and didn't get any with my last treatment. Then usually around day 5 I begin to get some really nice stomach cramping & diarrhea (I debated about writing that--it's not very ladylike, but it's the gosh honest truth!) that last a couple of days and makes the nausea worse. All together it seems to be taking me about 7-8 days to start to feel halfway normal. After that, I start feeling better, but just get really tired during the day--by about 5:30pm I've pretty much had it.
Here's how we're coping with everything: Mom stays with us the week after I do chemo, and then I'm on my own for the next 2 weeks, and I try to do things as normally as possible. My cousin, Karen, has faithfully come each Monday to help do laundry, change bedding and generally tidy up the house after the weekend hurricane hits with the kids home, and run errands either for or with me. On Thursdays my friend, Sue, usually comes to help clean house, take me to run errands, & sometimes we get to sit around and watch British comedies and laugh. Each week Heidi is running errands for me, coming to give me foot massages, bringing healthy food to eat, mopping floors and doing whatever else needs to be done. And then, of course, the Relief Society and friends are bringing delicious meals in three times a week for us. On the weeks my Mom isn't here, I still try and do alot of my housework myself, not because I feel I have to, but because I actually like doing it (I know--weird!) and it helps me feel as if I'm somewhat normal and have some control over my life. Sometimes I feel funny when someone has brought a meal in the night before to us, and then I run into them the next day down at Costco. I'm sure it's my imagination, but I think they may be wondering why they brought dinner in when I'm feeling well enough to be out shopping. I am soooo thankful for all the help I'm receiving--it's because of my family & friends helping me with housework and dinners that I am able to have the strength and energy left to spend time with my husband & children and recover from the effects of my surgery & chemo. The help I'm receiving also allows me to spend time each day reading the scriptures, Conference talks and other good books that are nourishing me spiritually and helping me to cope with all that is happening.
My heart is overflowing with gratitude each and every day for all the wonderful disciples of Christ who are helping to carry my burdens "that they may be light". They truly are lighter because of your service, faith and prayers--thank you. Love always, Kim

Monday, December 6, 2010

Labor of Love

On Sunday we were able to present this quilt to Kim as a "Labor of Love" from her friends and neighbors in the Middlefork area.  The idea came about a few months ago as there were so many who wanted to help and we decided this would be a way that we could show our love and support for Kim during this time.  Material was chosen and squares were given out for the ladies to pick a thought or design that they thought would brighten Kim's day or make a connection of something that they shared in common with Kim.  We think the best part was that it was a complete surprise to Kim - and most of all she loves it. 
We want to especially thank:
Kelli Child for organizing, choosing the material and piecing the quilt
Michelle Bassett for making speciality blocks, and piecing the quilt 
JaNae Tanner for her experise in quilting the quilt
Michelle Tawzer for binding the quilt, and
Thanks again to ALL the women that made this come together so beautifully - it will bring
many hours of joy and love to Kim and her family!